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South Korea's FSC urges banks to improve competition, services


South Korea's financial regulator, the Financial Services Commission (FSC), has called on local banks to improve competition and provide better services. The move comes after criticism that banks were focusing too much on profit margins from loans and deposits and not doing enough to diversify income sources. Last year, banks recorded record profits from interest income and distributed significant bonuses, while customers faced high borrowing costs due to central banks' monetary tightening measures to control inflation. In February, the FSC formed a task force to propose measures to enhance the management and business practices of the local banking system. Speaking at a meeting with bank chiefs, FSC Vice Chief Kim So-young said the current state of the banking industry was oligopolistic and lacked competition, which resulted in a lack of innovation and the provision of better services to the public.

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